Is Trump a Product of Democracy, or Tyranny?

Adelina Marini

Analyses and comments once again prevail in today’s press from the countries of former Yugoslavia. To some, Trump is the harbinger of tyranny, to others – just the opposite. In today’s review you can also read about the visit of the Croatian minister of defence to Bosnia and Herzegovina, about Macedonia’s outrage caused by statements of the Greek president, about another police operation in Serbia, and, last but not least, about who is the preferred leader for the Serbs.

“Trump liberates America and the world from the terror of facts”, is the headline of today’s column by the very popular and translated all over the region author Miljenko Jergović. “Freed from the terror of facts, Trump voters felt free of literacy, decency, history, memory, and all else, which in traditional societies was a heavy burden to separate people and society”, writes Jergović “To us here this is nothing new or unusual. We entered the postfactology era long before America. And when Vojislav Šešelj, for example, is celebrating so frenetically Donald Trump’s victory, he is actually not excited by his political think-alike or future ally – although this is not out of the question – he celebrates the one, who set up his own world according to his own (Šešelj’s) long-standing principles”, states the column of Miljenko Jergović.

According to him, major importance in the postfactological society is reserved to the feelings, perceptions, and beliefs. “For example, if your feelings tell you that the Earth is flat, that Muslims are lower creatures, or that the Virgin Mary conceived without sin, that the only problem of the world is capitalism, that Hitler and Stalin were right, or that the world is being run by Illuminati and Jewish bankers, then no facts about the Earth being round cannot question the absolutely more important opinion of yours”, is Mr Jergović’s conclusion.

He was opposed in absentia in the Serbian Politika by the university professor Miroljub Jevtić, editor of the “Political science of religion” magazine. “Trump: victory to liberalism over totalitarianism” is the author’s headline, who believes that the Republican candidate’s victory is a return to original values. The author reminds that the core of liberalism, as was described by John Stuart Mill, is that “We can never be certain whether the opinion we wish to silence is wrong, but even if we are completely certain of that, silencing it would be evil”. The author concludes from these words that absolutely any idea, even the most extreme one, is legal.

His thesis is that liberal democracy worked well while the USA, Great Britain, France, and the countries that followed this rule were mono-cultural societies. Now multiculturalism leads to having many ideas and political behaviour being forbidden and condemned. So, the conclusion of Miroljub Jevtić is that Trump represents a return to original values. He wins power by following strict procedures.

Montenegrin Vijesti reprints from the Croatian Nacional an analysis by Ratko Knežević, titled “It’s arrogance, stupid!”, in which he explains why Trump won and Clinton lost. “Arrogance is the most dangerous coin in politics”, believes Knežević. “After 25 years in American and world politics, Hillary Clinton thought that her success is guaranteed and decided that instead of launching a movement, based on ideas, moral principles, and visions for America for at least the next decade, she decided to go on a victory march for these ones, and perhaps also for the next elections in 2020”. The author believes that Trump’s victory could have been predicted if everything was viewed objectively and not through the eyes of fans.

“Besides, democracy is not necessarily a logical process. People vote with emotions and impulses, decide on political elections just as they make decisions on anything else in their lives”, explains Mr Knežević . At the end of the day, Trump’s authenticity won, not the phoniness and media hysterics, concludes the author.

Krstičević was not arrested!

All media in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina report on the visit to BiH of Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krstičević. Why did this make the news? Because, last week, he postponed his visit to the country immediately following the report of his name being on the list with indictments of war crimes with Croatian commanders. Back then Mr Krstičević explained that he postponed his visit due to the preparation of the budget for 2017. Some Serbian media in BiH reported that Krstičević may be arrested right at the border, should he enter the country. This did not happen, report Bosnian media. His words upon arrival in BiH were quoted that he had no problems at the border.

Bosnian Dnevni avaz meanwhile publishes at its front page an interview with the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia Serge Brammertz, who believes there is an ongoing process of denying crimes and glorifying of criminals. Every victim of a crime deserves justice, regardless of whether we are talking about Orašje, Sarajevo, or Vukovar, said the prosecutor in an interview for the newspaper. He warns that there is another process underway as well – creation of a false version of history.

Leading news in Serbia and Montenegro today is the police operation in Serbia, during which a huge amount of weaponry was discovered. Serbian Blic quotes Minister of Internal Affairs Nebojša Stefanović that a group of 10 people was apprehended in Apatin and Sombor, who were selling, distributing, and using weapons. Among the arsenal found there were nine kilograms of plastic explosive, 20 kilograms of TNT, over ten electric detonators, 111 hand grenades, 12 handheld anti-tank bombs, eight automatic rifles, and many others. The other leading subject in Serbia today is the package of laws, which the Skupština begins to discuss today. According to Blic, there are several bills on the session’s agenda, among which are changes in the Penal Code, a bill on fighting organised crime, terrorism, and corruption, as well as changes in the Law on confiscation of property acquired through criminal activity

Tito is the Serbs’ favourite

Danas published on its front page the first results of a poll, executed in October among 1500 Serbs. One of the poll’s questions is “Who is the best leader of Serbia”. 32% answered Tito. Right behind him is the current Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, who received 31% of the vote. Third place is occupied by the assassinated Serbian PM Zoran Ðinđić, who does, however, gather just 11% support. Fourth is Milošević, backed by only 3%. Following him are Boris Tadić and Vojislav Koštunica with 2% each. Danas reports that in the poll Tito is preferred among all education groups, while Vučić has support just among those with secondary education. More detailed results will be officially announced today.

Another piece of news in Danas is that Serb radicals continue to resist the showing of the EU representative in Serbia Michael Davenport in front of the Skupština to present the EC’s annual report on Serbia’s progress. MPs from the Serbian Radical Party will not allow Mr Davenport to show in the Committee on European integration, because this is against the rules of Parliament. Last week, the boss of the EU delegation was expelled from the Skupština, because he did not bring the report in Serbian and because he sat in a chair that does not belong to him, explained the radicals, supported by other extreme right-wing formations in the Skupština, to whom this is a question of preserving the dignity of the Serbian parliament.

Macedonian Dnevnik comes out today at its front page with outrage by another provocation of Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos. The newspaper reports that during his visit to Athens on Tusday American president Barack Obama turned a deaf ear to Mr Pavlopoulos’s statements against Macedonia. “It is fact that a neighbouring country, besides looking for a name, which is a falsification of history, but also spreads Irredentism and directly insists on changing borders. All this is against both the European and international laws and undermines the European perspective of this state”, goes the newspaper’s quote of Pavlopoulos from the start of his conversation with Obama, noting that this happened in front of the cameras of numerous media, which reported on the visit of the American president.

According to Dnevnik, however, Obama did not respond to the allegations but instead concentrated on the economy and the relations between Washington and Athens. The newspaper quotes a recent statement by Mark Burns – presented as a spiritual adviser to American President-elect Donald Trump – that no one has any intention of changing the constitutional name and identity of Macedonia. “Rest assured that Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States will not change the name of your state”, said Burns according to Dnevnik. Macedonia is currently recognised as the Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia. The material does not clarify whether they mean the constitutional or the internationally recognised name.

Translated by Stanimir Stoev

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